Turning on the news and scrolling through Facebook these days can be downright depressing. There is so much going on in the world, it can be difficult to even know where to start. It becomes too easy to do nothing. It becomes too easy to be apathetic. We become too jaded to believe that change is possible.
Nobody is going to deny that there are many problems and issues in the world. So pick one, or a few, that are really important to you. Not because other issues aren’t important, but because you have personal stake in this game. Maybe for you it’s cancer because you’ve been personally touched by that. Maybe it’s childhood poverty because you’re a teacher and see it in your classroom. Maybe it’s the environment because you rescued an animal wrapped in plastic. Whatever it is, I encourage you to find something that you are passionate about.
Then find some organizations that do those things, or trying to do those things, or believe those things. There’s national organizations, but I would also encourage you, if possible, to find a local organization. You will be able to get more involved and it will be more personal. Sign up for the newsletters. Like their Facebook page. Stay up-to-date on what they are doing. Most organizations also have an option to be informed of any legislation that pertains to that issue. It is non-partisan, but it gives you the option to write or call your representatives and inform them how you feel about various issues.
It’s not about the money
Yes, you will be asked to donate money. Yes, if you donate once you will be asked to donate again. Yes, the organizations need money. Maybe you can and maybe you can’t. Maybe you can this month, but not next month. That’s okay. The organization may have a wish list. You can volunteer your time. You can spread the word of their mission. Remember, it’s your mission too. You believe in what they are doing. Don’t make it just about money.
My little boy loves sea creatures. Last year for his birthday, instead of presents, we collected wish list items for the sea turtle hospital. Every time we go to the aquarium he visits the sea turtle hospital and talks about what the turtles need. He picks up trash at the beach. Last week he reminded a little boy to fill in a hole he dug so the baby turtles don’t get stuck. He has donated no money. He is not apathetic to their cause because he loves the ocean and the creatures. He believes in what they are doing and has found a way to be involved. He’s five.
No, he didn’t solve ocean pollution. But because of him, we make sure to use reusable grocery bags. We fill in our holes and knock down our sand castles at the beach. We use reusable straws. We write to our representatives about ocean clean-up and beach preservation.
There’s a lot wrong today. But people are good. People create change.
One little step at a time. Find something. Get your family involved. Get your friends involved. You can do this. You can create change. It won’t solve the world’s problems. But just think if everyone reading this found their thing. Found their passion for change and for good. How many of the world’s problems could we solve then?